Advice to the Rowe v. Wade hyperventilators: chill out.

Judge Kavanaugh’s hearings were loaded with predictable content:

Dem senators used their air time to warn (again) that Rowe v. Wade would be repealed and abortions would be outlawed.


First, I doubt that a sweeping case will ever reach the SCOTUS. 

Pro-choicers — about half the country — are zealous to their cause.

The other half — pro-lifers — have largely accepted the world as it is … just nibbling at the margins against late-term and partial-birth abortions and tax-payer funding … not angling for “outlawing”.

Second, even in the very unlikely case that RvW were overturned, it wouldn’t eliminate access to abortions.



Here’s why…


Worst case — from a pro-choice perspective — is that jurisdiction reverts to individual states which could legalize abortions within their boundaries (analogy: marijuana laws)… and, the states wouldn’t have to restrict access to their state’s residents.

Put that in perspective…

According to statistics gathered by the Guttmacher Institute, there were 926,200 reported U.S. abortions in 2014.

It’s at the state level that things get interesting…

Note: That number has been in steady decline.  Several sources peg the 2017 number under 800,000 … but few recent sources drill down to the state level

Roughly half of all U.S. abortions are performed in 11 deep-blue states (chart above) … about 1/3 of all abortions are performed in 3 states: California, New York and New Jersey.

It is highly likely — bordering on certainty — that, in the very unlikely case that RvW were overturned, these deep-blue states would quickly enact laws to legalize abortions within their jurisdictions.

Translation: At a bare minimum, abortion-rights would remain intact for at least half of all abortions.

And, it’s likely that at least some other states would follow suit and re-institute abortion rights.

Add in purple states — like Florida and Virginia — and the “covered” proportion jumps to two-thirds.

So, for the vast majority of potentially effected parties, repealing RvW would cause some short-term legislative uncertainty, but certainly not a knockout blow.

For anybody who resides in a state that doesn’t re-instate, there’s still the option of of traveling to another state.

Yeah, that’s an inconvenience, but I can easily imagine a network of shuttle services that will provide access.

And, all of the above is a pro-choice worst case … a worst case that is very, very unlikely — whether or not Kavanaugh is seated.

So, why doesn’t everybody just chill out?

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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4 Responses to “Advice to the Rowe v. Wade hyperventilators: chill out.”

  1. Charlie J Maguire Says:

    Irony, or coincidence ? The first part of the article runs on 9-11. I’ve akways noted with sadness that we continue to have an (equivalent) “9-11” for the unborn EVERY DAY in America. ie the ~ 1M abortion’s per ur is equal to ~ 3000/day

  2. Ben R Says:

    Don’t worry…says a man. The door is wide open for states to limit access which will hurt poor women who can’t leave their work and lives and travel to another state.

  3. On Abortion – +1 Bible Blog Says:

    […] to be challenges to Roe v. Wade. For a good analysis on the real-life implications of that, see Prof. Ken Homa’s analysis. The Church has been consistently against the practice since there was a practice.  Personally, […]

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